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Utility Functions for Nonmonetary Events

Eugene Galanter
The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 103, No. 4 (Winter, 1990), pp. 449-470
DOI: 10.2307/1423318
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1423318
Page Count: 22
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Utility Functions for Nonmonetary Events
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Abstract

Six experiments are described that use magnitude estimation methods to characterize a nonlinear (approximately square root) utility function for money. These same methods can be used to assign utilities to nonmonetary events and objects. The procedures permit a translation between the utility of such events and their monetary equivalents. The measure represents the incremental utilities of outcomes from a current neutral position. Positive returns grow more slowly than negative--it is a pessimist's world. These utility measures are consonant with the form of the utility function hypothesized by Kahneman and Tversky (1979).

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